Do you ever find yourself thinking back on past holidays/traditions and wondering how you got from where you once were to where you are now? This week I have been reflecting on past years and what I was doing/where I was/how I felt etc. I was planning to write random things about my Christmas plans this year, but instead I found myself thinking back on the holiday and how it has changed for me from year to year.
This is the first year in many that I will be “home” for Christmas. I say that in the literal sense, because home can have many different meanings. Of course when I was growing up, I lived at home and that was the one and only meaning it had to me.
Then I went to college and went “home” to my parents’ house, the house where I grew up, for breaks. Once I moved out on my own, the term got a bit more confusing. I would go “home” to see my parents, but I was also forming my own home and life in Baltimore.
Five years ago my parents moved from New York to Maryland, which confused things further. Now I had not only my own “home”, (which was just an apartment I was renting), but also my parents’ new house, and my extended family and friends were still in New York. We still traveled “home” to New York for Christmas every year.
Once Rob and I were engaged, we started celebrating the holidays together, which meant juggling between seeing both sides of our families. We were basically going to Michigan and/or Cleveland for a few days to see his family and then driving to New York on Christmas Day to see my family. Obviously, this was pretty exhausting.
In April Rob and I moved into our first house, and last month my parents got a new puppy. We felt like we wanted to be able to spend some time on Christmas morning in our new home, and my parents couldn’t leave their dog if we were to make the trip to New York. So this year we are spending Christmas in Maryland, at their house, with my aunt and uncle who will visit for a few days.
I will miss seeing my friends and other family members over the holidays, but I think we are all looking forward to a bit more relaxing of a Christmas. We can lay by the fireplace drinking coffee instead of waking up at 5 am to drive 4 hours in the car and stay at a hotel. We will be able to open our gifts on Christmas instead of having to wait until we get back 3 days later. We can go to our own church for Christmas Eve mass and drink lots of wine without worrying about feeling sick in the car the next day.
I guess the point of this is that traditions change as our lives do. I always thought I would be one of those people who stayed in the town where I grew up and never left. I have learned that change can be good, although it is often difficult. There is always the opportunity to make new traditions or try to incorporate old traditions into new ones.
Where is “home” to you?
How have your holiday traditions changed over the years?